Honor Code

Members of our community are encouraged and expected to live by standards which uphold an honorable lifestyle. In our attempt to encourage each student to understand and experience a community that honors the Christ-centered principles upon which University of the Southwest was founded, the faculty, staff and administration at USW will mentor all students to live a virtuous life. Through the balanced use of challenge and support (i.e. informal mentoring relationships and formal institutional discipline) all students will be encouraged to live a lifestyle reflecting Christ-centered values.

We Affirm the Dignity of the Human Spirit. Within the Christ-centered community, each individual is of inestimable value and worthy of profound respect. This respect should be demonstrated through the appreciation of individual differences. Individual dignity is damaged by prejudice, racial or ethnic slurs, unsubstantiated statements, the willful misrepresentation of truth, and the use of intimidation or physical force.

We Affirm the Sanctity of the Human Body. The human body should be maintained through a proper balance of rest, exercise, and diet. The use and possession of hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana, narcotics, alcohol, or the misuse of prescription drugs may create considerable spiritual, physical, and psychological problems; consequently, such behaviors are unacceptable and are strictly prohibited on campus. An atmosphere of wellness is the goal for this community. Finally, since all of humanity has been created in the image of God, all human life must be respected (Genesis 1:27).

We Affirm the Priority of Learning. USW is a living/learning environment committed to the development of the whole person. Through the process of living and learning in this community, certain identifiable outcomes should be realized. These include: a maturing, personal faith; a consistency between personal beliefs and behavior; the ability to live in and take responsibility for the community; the skills to manage change effectively; and an awareness of a personal life purpose with the requisite skills to express that purpose in a culturally diverse society.


An environment conducive to lifelong learning must be the responsibility of every individual. Such an environment will foster the development of skills in critical thinking, problem solving, research writing, and fundamental personal disciplines. Excessive noise, disregard for established quiet hours, and insensitivity to the personal study needs of fellow students undermine individual progress toward academic goals. Furthermore, academic dishonesty by its very nature is an affront to the process of learning and to the vitality of an academic community. Academic dishonesty is an intentional act of fraud in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization and documentation, in which a student intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of others, or assists other students in acts of dishonesty.

We Affirm the Distinctiveness of Our Community. USW is an academic community comprised of faculty, staff, administrators, and students. While enrollment is not limited to students with a personal Christ-centered faith commitment, the University's mission includes embracing the truths of Biblical, Christ-centered values. Intellectual and spiritual growth are both intended outcomes of an educational experience at USW. In order to encourage an atmosphere conducive to intellectual and spiritual development as articulated in the University's mission statement, the University of the Southwest community establishes the following guidelines and expectations for all students: Scriptural principles, including love, fairness, justice, mercy, compassion, purity, obedience to the laws of the land, respect and self-control, are upheld as the ideals by which members of the University community are to govern their lives. Students are expected to have a commitment to Christ-centered values and social justice. It is recognized that involvement in the Christ-centered educational community of the University may take varying shapes and levels of commitment. Institutional expectations appropriate for some individuals may be less appropriate for others. Factors including maturity, personal issues of conscience, leadership roles, community expectations, effect of personal behavior on other University of the Southwest community members, and the overall image and mission of the University must be weighed in determining what may legitimately be expected by the institution.